Maybe your last girlfriend made your life a living hell. Maybe she cheated on you. Maybe she gave you trust issues. Maybe she is the reason why you are unsure if you want to settle down. Maybe, because of her, you are not even sure whether you believe in true love anymore.
Having your heart broken sucks — but it does not give you permission to act like an asshole.
Your baggage is going to follow you, that much is true. When your new girlfriend comes home late or tells you her guy friends are nothing to worry about, you might have trouble believing her. You might instinctively assume she is sneaking around behind your back. You might jump to conclusions about how this relationship is going to fail like the last one.
When that happens, what you should do is sit her down and explain how you are feeling. Tell her what you are afraid of and why you are feeling insecure. Make sure she knows what has been running through your mind so she can silence your fears. So she can help you break down your walls and learn to love again.
What you shouldn’t do is make her pay for your ex’s mistakes. Don’t follow her car down the road because you need to see where she is going. Don’t snoop through her phone when she leaves the room to make sure she isn’t texting any other dudes behind your back. Don’t make her feel like a criminal every time she comes back from a night out with her friends and you start interrogating her.
You cannot blame her for what some other girl put you through. You cannot hurt her and then cry about how your ex is the reason why you did what you did. That is a copout. That is you refusing to take responsibility for your actions.
You are allowed to have baggage. You are allowed to guard your heart. But you are not allowed to break somebody else’s heart because you are so concerned about protecting yourself that you never stop to think about how you are impacting the people around you. You are not allowed to play with a good girl’s feelings because you like her but you are not fully ready to date again. You are not allowed to act like a dick.
If she is the right one for you, then she will help you through your trust issues, but only if you treat her with respect. If you try to control her, if you order her around and give her rules about what she can wear and refuse to put a label on your relationship, then she is going to leave you behind. She is not going to deal with your bullshit for a second longer than necessary.
You have a choice. You can either be honest with her and work hard to create a strong relationship alongside her — or you can leave her the hell alone and find a girl who is only interested in sleeping with you until you get your shit together.